New Norc City redefines the maxi-block parcel structure and Tower in the Park housing typology at the “Tower City” complex in Coney Island, Brooklyn.
The selected site’s urbanistic and social problems arise from a lack of continuity with the surrounding neighborhoods. The primary design strategy is to re-inscribe Tower City with the finer-grained street structure of adjoining Coney Island and Brooklyn at large. This urban gesture is examined in the context of an individual Tower City parcel, the Luna Park Cooperative.
Programmatically, this project interprets the Tower City district was as an emergent NORC (Naturally Occurring Retirement Community) with a high proportion of elderly citizens in towers.
The combination of these two criteria led to the design of a campus which encourages aging in place: New Norc City. The intervention uses a strategy of adaptive reuse for five, twenty-story towers. To those towers, a mixed-use base was added. That base reinforces the new street grid as well as the larger maxi block campus by providing a cohesive urban form within the district.
A new layer of private exterior spaces is grafted onto the towers in the form of balconies. The entire campus unifies around a second floor walking track which organizes related programs and provides a space for exercise, circulation, and social interaction. By reintroducing the normative grid of the area and retrofitting the towers with new and appropriate program, New Norc City creates a comfortable enclave for an aging population to exist in Brooklyn.